Your students have always faced challenges when they make the life jump to university – independent study, discovering their identity, making friends and preparing for the world of work.

But now your students have so much more to contend with; financial pressures, climate concerns, social isolation and cuts to wrap around services. This cocktail of issues has put pressure on their wellbeing and exasperated mental health challenges.

You are doing all you can to provide students with a quality university experience, but it’s getting tougher.

Have you felt…

  • Frustrated that students are not able to reach their academic potential because they are stressed, ill, exhausted, juggling too much or struggling with their wellbeing.
  • Overwhelmed by the rise in pastoral support needs and feeling unsure how you can help everyone.
  • Discouraged that services only have capacity to support the students who are most in need so students’ lower level challenges go unsupported and escalate over time.
  • Heartbroken that students are facing so much difficulty when they should be having the time of their lives.

Imagine a version of your campus where…

  • Your students understand their wellbeing and how they can control it, empowering them to make healthy choices in their lives.
  • Students feel confident to manage their stress levels and maintain healthy habits that give them more energy and focus.
  • Everyone is equipped with research backed tools that strengthen their resilience and wellbeing, leading to a happier campus.
  • Your students have a deep emotional literacy so they can ask for what they need and form more meaningful bonds and belonging with their peers.
  • Your students’ increased resilience and energy allows them to make the most of their academic studies and university experience.
  • You and your team have more time to spend on your areas of expertise.


You long for your students to make the most of their university experience so that they can go out into the world as resilient and successful adults – forging careers that give them meaning, contributing to their community, forming healthy relationships and being able to handle the bumpy parts of the road.

Over this 8 week programme, I can train your students in research-backed tools which help them to build their self-awareness, effectively manage stress and take more ownership over the behaviours and thought patterns that support their mental wellbeing.


  • You are fed up of fighting fires when it comes to student wellbeing and are now ready for a sustainable approach
  • You long for students who are more resilient, happier and who have more capacity to engage in their studies and meet their potential
  • You are ready to collaborate with a safe pair of hands so that you get more time back for the students who need you
  • You are passionate about sending well rounded and emotionally literate graduates out into the workforce
  • You are looking for a quick-scale, impersonal solution like apps, self-paced resource packs or top tips videos
  • You can’t give your students the time and depth to actually practice their wellbeing skills
  • You hope that a few one-off workshops will make do for now
  • You believe that student wellbeing is outside of your remit



This 8 week curriculum is designed to give your students the depth and breadth needed to build strong foundations in their wellbeing.

At a glance:

  • Pre-programme questionnaire to help students understand their current wellbeing
  • 8 weeks of content developing core skills drawn from research and practice in positive psychology and health sciences
  • Sessions are 2 hours long to honour the depth and sensitivity needed to effectively build wellbeing skills
  • Students learn and practice wellbeing tools in the session so that they can review their experiences, ask questions and identify the strategies that work best for them
  • Peer support is integral to the programme. Students are facilitated in practicing skills together, sharing insights and supporting each other’s development. This builds emotional literacy and a sense of community
  • Students are supported to end each session by setting a wellbeing action based on the content of the session. This builds personal agency, confidence and students’ ability to sustain their own wellbeing practices
  • Each session begins by reviewing wellbeing actions together to celebrate successes and troubleshoot challenges. This builds peer accountability and reinforces sustainable progress
  • Resource packs are provided so students always have access to models and tools (and may read the research if they wish)
  • Cohorts are capped at 25 students in order to foster psychological safety, effective peer to peer support and facilitate bonding
  • Optional closed whatsapp or slack community for the cohort to ask questions, share successes and challenges and reflect on their progress
  • Post-programme questionnaire to help students see their progress and identify their next steps
  • Your organisation gets a tailored impact report. Cohort data will be anonymised and compiled to show the programme outcomes.

You book it in, I’ll sort the rest.


Week 1 - Understanding your wellbeing

This session is all about setting strong foundations for a successful programme. I’ll facilitate your students to co-create expectations and group agreements to support sharing and psychological safety. Then we’ll explore different models and approaches to wellbeing and use a self-reflection tool to set wellbeing goals for the programme.

Week 2 - Your relationship with stress

Stress is the first topic on your students’ minds so we’ll tackle it early. This session helps students to understand the difference between stress and burnout and the symptoms and causes. I’ll help your students to identify their stress patterns earlier on and we’ll explore their healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Week 3 - Managing stress effectively

Now that your students are noticing their stress patterns, they are better equipped to take action. We’ll identify how students can increase their personal agency by practically addressing their causes of stress. They’ll also practice reframing their thoughts about themselves and stressful situations to help them resolve stressors early.

Week 4 - Tools for developing resilience

Resilience is like a muscle that can be exercised to give your students more bounce back when they need it. This session will explore three different models for building resilience over time; in their learning, in their general life experiences and in their mindset.

Week 5 - Practicing gratitude for a positive mindset

I’ll help your students to feel more hopeful and satisfied in life by teaching them how to build gratitude into their day. They’ll learn the science behind gratitude practices and get to try out a wide range of gratitude tools to help them look for the good – even in challenging times.

Week 6 - Building confidence and self esteem

Your students will learn the psychology of how confidence and self-esteem can be nurtured (or damaged) over time. They’ll get to try out a range of confidence building tools and generate evidence of their self-worth, positive qualities and growth in order to build confidence and esteem over time. 

Week 7 - Nurturing happier relationships

We thrive on healthy and happy social relationships. This session introduces students to ‘emotional bank accounts’ so that they can be really intentional about how they build and maintain relationships with the people they care about. We’ll also explore appreciation exercises to help them to deepen their relationships.

Week 8 - Creating wellbeing habits

Now that your students have identified a range of tools and strategies that work for them, it’s time to turn them into habits. I’ll teach them the key principles for creating (and breaking) habits so that they can build effective daily routines for looking after their wellbeing going forward. We’ll also evaluate their growth on the programme as a whole and celebrate their progress.

This 8 week programme costs £2400 per group of up to 25 students. This includes VAT and resources for all attendees. Additional travel costs may be added for some locations and overnight stays.



Have you got more than 8 weeks in your semester? Or maybe you’d like to run your wellbeing programme over the full year. We can add extra modules to your programme to give your students even more strategies for developing their resilience.

Add additional modules for £200 each

Overcoming negative thinking

This session will introduce your students to tools from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which help them to identify and challenge negative thoughts. By acknowledging and disputing their inner critic they will be more able to identify constructive thoughts that build their confidence and better serve them.

Working with your neurotransmitters (happy chemicals)

Your students will learn the basics of how their brain functions, which neurotransmitters impact their mood and what activities trigger these neurochemicals in the brain. We’ll try out a range of mood boosting activities and students will be empowered to create action plans to help them balance their mood.

Healthy emotional processing

Our emotions play an important role in our lives – denying them can actually do us damage. Your students will learn how healthily acknowledge them. Then we will explore how to leverage the positive sides of all emotions (yes, even anger and sadness) so that your students understand what their emotions are trying to tell them.

Living a meaningful life

The most resilient people have a strong ‘why’ – a reason for pushing past challenges. This session will help your students to explore what brings them a sense of meaning in life, bringing together their career, personal interests and wider passions in the world. They can then draw on this for direction and motivation.

Great goal setting and getting motivated

Setting goals and then being able to achieve them builds our self confidence and helps us to grow as a person. This session teaches students how to set meaningful and achievable goals and how to break them down into manageable chunks. Your students will learn how to use motivational tools to keep working towards their goals in challenging times.

Time management and life balance

Having too much to juggle or getting behind on deadlines adds to stress. In this session, students will learn a range of strategies for identifying their important tasks, scheduling, protecting their time and clearing more of their tasks. More importantly, they will learn to ensure their time balances rest, social activity and work to protect their wellbeing.

Mindfulness and meditation

Your students will learn the research-backed benefits that mindfulness and meditation have on the brain, body and for wellbeing. We’ll then try out a wide range of exercises so that students can identify which ones they can build into their life for a greater sense of balance and calm.

Setting personal boundaries and being assertive

Having healthy relationships with others and knowing when to say no are important for protecting wellbeing. In this session, students will do an assertiveness audit and explore the areas of their life in which they would like to be more assertive. I’ll then help them to explore different types of boundaries and tools that help them to politely assert their needs.

Taming impostor syndrome

Most people experience impostor syndrome at some point over their work life. I’ll help students to understand the difference between ‘feeling out of your comfort zone’ and impostor syndrome, as well as the different archetypes of impostor syndrome. We’ll then practice using tools to reframe impostor thoughts and set healthy goals to move forwards.

Living a values based life

Whether we realise it or not we are all guided by values which help us to make decisions and guide our preferences. Living in line with those values helps us to feel happier. I’ll help your students to identify their core values and explore how they bring strengths and challenges into your students’ lives. We’ll then use reflection tools to help students live more in line with their values.

The benefits of vulnerability

This session busts the common myths around vulnerability and helps your students see that taking risks, opening up and handling uncertainty help them to be courageous and grow. We will explore the benefits of vulnerability, common barriers and tools for exercising vulnerability muscles in a safe and sustainable way.

Making personal change happen

I’ll help your students to understand the psychological phases of going through a personal change so that they are more able to meet their goals and head off challenges. We’ll also identify different categories of personal change and the different strategies they require so that your students can be more successful in their personal growth.


As your students start to implement their wellbeing toolkit in their lives they may come across some bumps:

“How do I balance X with Y?”
“I still have difficult feelings around X?”
“I’ve started trying this strategy but find X challenging.”

Learning to take charge of your own wellbeing takes time and it can make such a difference if your students have tailored support to address their challenges, shift their old thought patterns and build action plans that are unique to their needs.

In their 1:1 coaching session they can discuss their wellbeing challenges or goals in order to get personalised support towards a more resilient version of them.

Provide an hour of coaching for all students on the cohort for £1000


I’m Gemma Perella, a Personal Development Trainer. I help organisations supporting students to create confident, resilient and emotionally intelligent leaders. I have been working with student unions and higher education providers for the last 9 years to deliver practical and fun learning programmes. I am passionate about equipping young people to handle life’s challenges so that they can use their strengths to contribute to society in a meaningful way.


How many people can be trained at once?

I cap groups at a maximum of 25. This is to ensure that all students in the group get plenty of opportunity for individual practice, detailed feedback and support. Wellbeing programmes can reveal sensitive and vulnerable topics so smaller group sizes increase the psychological safety of the space.

We have less than 25 students in our group - does this change the price?

No. All training packages are based on my time and expertise rather than a price per head. If you want to maximise your value for money, then you are most welcome to merge students from different courses in order to bring up the numbers.

We have more than 25 students – what do we do?

We can organise your students into cohorts. E.g. if you have 70 students, we can run 3 groups. It may be helpful to run these groups on the same day (e.g. 10-12, 1-3, 3.30-5.30).

You can ask students for their time slot preference or set a timetable as part of your curriculum. It is important that students remain in the same group throughout the programme in order to protect the psychological safety and bonding of the group.

We have more than 8 weeks - can we run a longer programme?

Yes. I've got lots more wellbeing topics waiting for you. See the add ons section of this page. Let me know how many sessions you want and I'll recommend the best order of topics to support your students development.

We don't have 8 weeks - can we still run a programme?

Yes. Sometimes with reading weeks, exams or shorter semesters it can be difficult to timetable the full programme. It's possible to discuss a 6 or 7 week version of the programme to work around your timetable but content will need to be cut.

Can you deliver this as a two day programme?

No. Much of my other training is perfect for full day sessions (leadership skills, conflict resolution, public speaking). However, years of working with students have shown me that crash coursing wellbeing skills is ineffective. Spreading out sessions is essential to give your students the mental break to digest what they have learned and the time to implement the tools in their lives.

Who is this programme for?

Whilst the programme is designed for all students - with or without mental health challenges - that doesn't mean all students will make the most of it.

Students who are open minded, willing to try out activities and gradually engage in discussions will definitely get the most out of the experience. For that reason, you may want to allow students to opt into the programme rather than making it a mandatory part of your timetable.

Can you deliver this programme for our staff?

Yes. Investing in your staff's wellbeing and resilience too is a great way to ensure a positive culture. And staff can reinforce the tools and models when working with their students.

I recommend that your staff form a cohort separate to the students so that each group feels psychologically safe enough to practice the tools and share in the sessions.

Does the programme have to be weekly?

No, but...

The programme has been designed with weekly sessions in order to achieve a great balance: regular enough to create a routine and keep up momentum. Spaced out enough to give students time to digest the content and implement the tools in their lives.

Running the programme once a fortnight would achieve a similar balance. A monthly programme could lose momentum and so would only be effective if the group were dedicated to implementing the tools between sessions.

Is this programme accredited?

No. Formal accreditation would require students to evidence their learning through tools such as quizzes, reflective logs, self assessment or peer review. This would take the focus away from being present with the tools, exploring them at their own pace and sharing openly with their peers. I am happy to discuss logging the learning hours or providing a participation certificate outlining the tools and models covered to support students career development. 

Do you deliver in person? Online?

I find that the best wellbeing training happens in the room where students can see each other, meet new people, break out into small groups and create the sense of belonging needed to discuss sensitive topics. This also means that I can observe and support students as they practicing the tools.

I am able to offer remote programmes but it is important that all participants understand that these are not webinars. I will create the same levels of engagement through breakout rooms, discussions, groupwork and reflection activities. Remote programmes can be beneficial when a high proportion of your students are distance learners or commuter students. Not all students are confident engaging in an online space and so this is a strong consideration for a remote programme.

I do not offer hybrid events as these make it very difficult to provide the same quality experience to your in-the-room and remote participants.

Where does the training take place?

I come to you. You provide a room on your campus that has plenty of space for group work. If your students are from the same course of study then you may even use one of their usual seminar rooms for familiarity.

If we are delivering remote training then I will provide a Zoom room.

Do you travel?

Yes, but…

I am based in Sheffield and have delivered student training up and down the country. I will weigh up the travel distance with the training time. For example, it is not practical for me to travel to Cornwall to train one cohort for 2 hours each week – but if you wanted to run 3 groups in a day and fund an overnight stay then it would be feasible. It is much easier for me to pop to Leeds or Nottingham once a week for one group. I will consider all locations and let you know if any travel or accommodation costs need to be added.

When can we hold our training dates / times?

Most organisations want to run their programme as part of their timetabled curriculum to maximise student attendance. However, I understand that sometimes the flexibility of offering courses outside of study hours allows more students to participate.

We can discuss flexible training slots between the hours of 8.30am-8.30pm. If you are booking multiple cohorts, it is recommended that you allow at least half an hour between groups to allow for any lingering questions, trainer break and student changeover. (e.g. Four cohorts in a day could look like: 9-11, 11.30-1.30, 2.30-4.30, 5-7).

What is the time frame for booking in a programme?

Ideally, we would have at least a two to three months’ notice before the start of a programme. This gives me time to help you tailor your exact programme length, collaborate on any advertising to students and send out pre-programme surveys. It also gives you time to book a regular room and finalise your student cohorts.

Training is booked on a first come first served basis.

How does the 1:1 coaching support students’ wellbeing?

Many students will have specific questions or challenges about practicing the wellbeing tools in their own lives. These will generally be addressed in the training programme but having private 1:1 support gives each student time to really pin down their challenges, goals and wellbeing actions. This helps each student on the programme maximise the impact for them.

Are coaching and mentoring the same?

No. Unfortunately coaching and mentoring are grouped together but they mean very different things.

A mentor is someone who has more experience or knowledge in a particular field and draws directly on that to give someone else advice. e.g. "when I had [X] wellbeing challenge I found that [Y] helped me.” 

A coach does not give any advice or instructions. Instead, the coach asks great questions to help someone develop their own insights or action plans. e.g. "It sounds like your wellbeing challenge is [X], what approaches could help you to address that?"

As I coach, I may refer to the tools we have covered on the programme but will always encourage your students to do their own thinking and set their own action plans rather than giving them advice.

How does the 1:1 coaching work logistically?

  • You fund one coaching session per student in your cohort (though we can discuss if you want to fund more)
  • In week one, I explain how the coaching will work and then provide students with a link to my digital calendar.
  • Each student can book in one phone or zoom coaching session between the start and end of the programme.
  • Towards the end of the programme I will send reminders to any students who have not booked in their sessions.
  • Students may reschedule their session with 24 hours notice.
  • Students who cancel their session with less than 24 hours notice or do not show up will lose their coaching allocation.
  • Any outstanding coaching slots not utilised towards the end of the programme (not everyone wants coaching) can be offered to the rest of the cohort on a first come first served basis.
  • All coaching sessions will be concluded a week after the final session.
  • The content of all coaching sessions is confidential but I can provide a register of who attended their coaching.

What is the difference between mental health (or mental ill health) and mental wellbeing?

These phrases can get used interchangeably, but they refer to slightly different things. (And I will reiterate the difference for your students).

Mental illness or mental ill health refers to whether a person has a diagnosed condition, and if so, how severe on a scale it is. This may include burnout, anxiety, depression, bipolar and such.  

Mental wellbeing is focused more on an individual’s outlook, thought patterns, attitude and ability to lead a positive life. This also works on a scale with some people having higher or lower levels of wellbeing.

These two scales combine to create four outcomes in what’s known as the Dual Spectrum model: struggling, languishing, coping and flourishing.

This programme is designed to help all of your students increase their wellbeing practices, regardless of their current mental health challenges. Having positive wellbeing strategies can help those with mental health challenges to cope and protect those without mental health challenges

Do you support students with specific mental health needs?

No. Students experiencing a specific mental health need still need to seek the support of their GP or a therapeutic professional.

However, many of the wellbeing tools on the programme are derived from positive psychology and therapy. The tools can be used by anyone - with or without a mental health need - to improve their ability to be resilient, maintain healthy routines and bolster wellbeing. Students with mental health needs can participate in the programme alongside their specific support.

What are your relevant qualifications?

You want to know that your student wellbeing is in a safe pair of hands and that the programme content is up to scratch. I bring to the table:

  • 1st class degree in psychology - allowing me to draw from positive psychology, engage with scientific journals and ensure that all programme content is research backed. 
  • PGCE in primary education with qualified teacher status - I am adept at designing curricula, learning activities, managing the engagement of students and providing supportive feedback on their learning.
  • ILM Train the Trainer certification - allowing me to design and deliver interactive learning experiences.
  • Diploma in Transformational Coaching and Associate Certified Coach of the International Coaching Federation - I use use group coaching in sessions to facilitate students thinking and provide effective 1:1 coaching to support goal setting and overcoming challenges.
  • CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Advocacy in the Workplace.
  • Level 3 first aid at work and up to date DBS to cover health, safety and safeguarding requirements.
  • 17 years experience in youth work and training delivery.

I am not qualified to support students' specific mental health needs. When students need medical or therapeutic support alongside my training I always signpost them to a relevant service - emergency medical services, their GP, University or SU counselling, therapeutic practitioners etc. I can work with you to ensure that signposting is relevant to the services you have on campus.